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Anchored by a sensitive performance from Tobey Maguire, Pawn Sacrifice adds another solidly gripping drama to the list of films inspired by chess wiz Bobby Fischer. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

American chess legend Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Soviet Grandmaster Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) enthrall the world with their intense battle of wills and strategy during the 1972 World Chess Championship.

Cast & Crew

Tobey Maguire
Bobby Fischer
Peter Sarsgaard
William Lombardy
Liev Schreiber
Boris Spassky
Lily Rabe
Joan Fischer
Robin Weigert
Regina Fischer
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Teenage Bobby Fischer
Aiden Lovekamp
Young Bobby Fischer
Conrad Pla
Carmine Nigro
Sophie Nélisse
Young Joan
Steven Knight
Screenwriter
Gail Katz
Producer
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News & Interviews for Pawn Sacrifice

Critic Reviews for Pawn Sacrifice

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (34)

Audience Reviews for Pawn Sacrifice

  • May 30, 2016
    Excellent. This is a fantastic film...explores a really interesting series of events that hasn't been explored much in popular media.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2016
    It is dull, formulaic and directed in such a mediocre way (hell, even Zwick's sense of geography is terrible) that there is no pleasure in going through this plodding plot so full of clichés and awful dialogue just to finally get to a tense climax that saves the film from being a disaster.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 19, 2016
    A fascinating character piece, Pawn Sacrifice looks at the tragedy and genius of chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer. After withdrawing from competitive play American chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer is approached by a lawyer looking to be his backer and to help him to win the world chess championship and a victory for America in the Cold War; however Fischer's eccentricities and neurosis start to get more and more out of control and threaten to destroy everything that he's worked for. Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, and Peter Sarsgaard lead the cast and give incredibly good performances. And director Edward Zwick does an impressive job at depicting Fischer's psychoses through his use of the camera. But the storytelling is a little weak, feeling disjointed and underdeveloped at times. Yet overall Pawn Sacrifice is a gripping tale and a cautionary reminder of the price that often comes with pursuing greatness.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2016
    Pawn Sacrifice Captivating, confounding, and utterly enthralling, Pawn Sacrifice is a gem of a film that deserves much more attention and praise than it is receiving. Set during the Cold War, Pawn Sacrifice follows what is perhaps the infamous Bobby Fischer's most memorable chapter, that of his showdown with then world champ and Soviet representative--Boris Spassky. The film does a great job of building the tension and setting the stage for what was a very precarious geopolitical time. A time when tensions were so high with the Russians that even a chess match would take on significance. The performances were strong, this being the best role I've ever seen Tobey Maguire in. The dialogue is rich, the characterizations nuanced, and the scenes well executed. In the end we are left both admiring and vexed at the enigma of Bobby Fischer, and that's undoubtedly how it should be. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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